High School Students Extend Summer Learning with Job Shadow Day at The Castle Group
Castle Group employees and WriteBoston students pose for a photo in the Charlestown Navy Yard during a job shadow day at the marketing and PR agency.
BOSTON – Thursday, August 4, 2016 – Eleven Boston Public Schools (BPS) students from WriteBoston’s Summer Journalism Institute visited the offices of The Castle Group, a Charlestown-based public relations, social media, and events management agency on Wednesday to learn about becoming professional writers.
“I commend the Castle Group for opening their doors to our students during the summer, and am proud of all the students who took part in this visit,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The job shadow day served as a great chance for our students to take advantage of extracurricular summer learning opportunities, and it shows that they are excited about learning and are going above and beyond to further develop their skills.”
The Boston teens, who have been honing their writing skills as part of a six-week summer program, used the job shadow day to explore how their reporting skills translate in the wider workplace.
“The Committee is grateful to BPS partners who make summer learning opportunities available to BPS students,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael O’Neill. “Writing is an essential skill that, once developed, will set our students on a pathway of continued success.”
Teens were paired with employee mentors from The Castle Group to craft personal “elevator speeches” and practice networking. Students then interviewed Castle professionals about their career paths and drafted feature articles based on the interviews. After providing feedback and editing, Castle mentors showed students how to convert their feature articles into press releases and content for social media. Castle provided lunch for students, who were able to explore the Charlestown Navy Yard. As a parting gift, each student received a copy of the Associated Press Style Book.
“Teens can get so much out of connecting with professionals,” said Sarah Poulter, Executive Director of WriteBoston. “It is a real boon for our students to spend time with Castle Group employees, who are seasoned writers and can really speak to the value of writing in any career.”
Students attend WriteBoston’s Summer Journalism Institute, a six-week summer program for 35 Boston teens based out of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism.
“For our 20th anniversary year, we wanted to add a new nonprofit to our roster of long-term beneficiaries-one that fit 100 percent with our skill set and mission and could benefit from the variety of resources we can provide. WriteBoston couldn’t be more perfect as we don’t just preach the importance of solid writing, we practice it. With all the demands on the school system, it’s important to support organizations like WriteBoston that provide that extra focus on what many-myself included-consider a dying art: powerful and accurate writing,” said Sandy Lish, co-founder and principal.
Participants in WriteBoston’s Summer Journalism Institute produce original articles for Boston’s citywide youth newspaper, Teens in Print.
“I continue to be impressed by our students here at BPS,” said Superintendent Tommy Chang. “At BPS, we are laying the groundwork to support standards of rigor to ensure quality learning and growth opportunities for our students. By offering our students a chance to job shadow, through WriteBoston, the Castle Group is further reinforcing this model, and I look forward to continued collaboration in the future.”
The students who participated in the job shadow day represent five Boston-area schools: the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, Boston Preparatory Charter School, and City on a Hill. They hail from the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, and South Boston.
“We’re proud to help mentor the next generation of talented, thoughtful communicators,” continued Wendy Spivak, co-founder and principal. “Our goal is to create lasting lessons that will follow the students from their school careers into their professional careers. We’re honored to share our communications skills to support Boston Public School student achievement and amplify opportunities for future communicators and writers.”
The job shadow day was part of a community service initiative during Castle’s employee Spirit Week, marking the agency’s 20th anniversary.
WriteBoston promotes deep learning through writing. Founded in 2002, WriteBoston provides customized professional development, student writing centers, and afterschool and summer journalism programming for young people. WriteBoston helps to create writers-thinkers, communicators, problem solvers. WriteBoston has supported over 15,000 teachers and students in Boston and surrounding urban districts. Additional information is available atwww.WriteBoston.org.
About Castle Group
Celebrating its 20th year in business, The Castle Group leverages its Boston connections and global reach to create communications strategies that deliver business results, with an emphasis on PR, events management, crisis communications and digital media. With a client roster that includes Fortune 500, high-growth start-ups, privately held, higher education and healthcare clients, Castle is supremely skilled at navigating complex organizations and surfacing unique ways to powerfully deliver clients’ messages. A certified women-owned business, the firm is a member of the Public Relations Global Network, 50 exclusively selected affiliates representing the world’s major media markets. Castle, its leadership and teams have won numerous industry, civic and professional awards, are devoted corporate citizens and pride themselves on infusing an entrepreneurial spirit and scrappy attitude into every endeavor. The Castle Group was recently named number four on the 2016 Boston Business Journal Best Places to Work list in the 20-49 employees category. Find Castle, its clients and their programs online, in person, in their communities and around the world. For more information, go to thecastlegrp.com.
Kimani Grandy (a student of Boston Latin School), Victoria Livingston (Boston Latin School), and Legacy Thornton (John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science) write their personal elevator pitches during breakfast and professional networking at the offices of The Castle Group.